Salt City Hoops » Kevin Murphy http://saltcityhoops.com The ESPN TrueHoop Utah Jazz Site Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:12:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 The ESPN TrueHoop Utah Jazz Site Salt City Hoops no The ESPN TrueHoop Utah Jazz Site Salt City Hoops » Kevin Murphy http://saltcityhoops.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://saltcityhoops.com Utah Jazz Roster Additions: Dee Bost, Kevin Murphy, and Jack Cooley http://saltcityhoops.com/utah-jazz-roster-additions-dee-bost-kevin-murphy-and-jack-cooley/ http://saltcityhoops.com/utah-jazz-roster-additions-dee-bost-kevin-murphy-and-jack-cooley/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:25:03 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=12607 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE

Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE

While training camp is still several weeks away, the Utah Jazz roster is starting to materialize quickly. In the past week, three names have emerged: point guard Dee Bost, shooting guard Kevin Murphy and forward Jack Cooley. Who are these players and realistically, what are their chances of making the regular season roster? Let’s take a look.

Dee Bost, 6’2″, 176 lbs, 24 years old, Rookie

Bost is perhaps the most intriguing, because it is known that he has a modest guarantee ($65,000 this year) built-in to his three-year pact. That is not known yet with Murphy or Cooley.  He showed consistent improvement during his four seasons at Mississippi State, tallying 15.8 PPG and 5.5 APG as a senior and All-SEC first team performer. Bost went undrafted in 2012. He encountered some trouble–a 14-game NCAA suspension as a result of not withdrawing properly from the 2010 NBA Draft, along with some academic issues.

Bost is an all-around player, as displayed in college and thus far in his professional career. This is evidenced by his stat-stuffing numbers last year in the D-League: 15.2 PPG, 6.1 RPG and 8.4 APG, along with 2.1 SPG. His shooting was less stellar–just 36.2 percent from the floor and 29.3 percent from beyond the arc (on 7 attempts per outing). He was an D-League All-Star with the Idaho Stampede and earned All-Defensive team honors, as well. While his wingspan (6’3.25″) is not eye-opening, he seems to have a propensity for playing the passing lanes.

He played summer league for the Portland Trailblazers in 2012 and inked a deal with them in 2013, only to be waived during the preseason.  Bost spent time overseas the past two seasons. He most recently toiled for the Indiana Pacers’ summer entry (5.8 PPG, 2.2 APG).

Kevin Murphy, 6’6″, 185 lbs, 24 years old, 2nd season

While the Jazz have not made a formal announcement, several sources indicate the guard will be in the fold for training camp. Murphy is clearly a familiar face, being the franchise’s lone draft pick in 2012 (47th pick). The Tennessee Tech product struggled in his lone NBA season, earning only 52 total minutes (0.9 PPG). Murphy was shipped out to the Golden State Warriors in the asset-accumulating move that netted Richard Jefferson, Brandon Rush and Andris Biedrins, along with a bevy of draft picks. He was promptly waived and then spent a spell in France.

After that, Murphy tore it up with the Idaho Stampede of the D-League last season. Displaying some impressive shooting (48 percent field goals, 38.6 percent 3s and 85.1 percent on free throws), Murphy averaged 25.5 PPG, good for second behind Pierre Jackson. After notching a 50-point game in college, he bested that with a 51-point explosion for Idaho (this included a league-record 21 made field goals).

Jack Cooley, 6’9″, 246 lbs, 23 years old, Rookie

Cooley is someone that Utah has had its eye on the past year. The Jazz had him in both for pre-draft workouts and as part of free agent mini camps. The bruising forward showed steady improvement at Notre Dame, averaging a 13.1 PPG/10.1 RPG double-double senior year. Despite the All-Big East first team accolades, he too went undrafted.

The bruising forward spent time with both the Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies’ summer league teams. From some accounts, Cooley had received a lot of attention from NBA teams, some of whom presented some partially guaranteed contracts. He opted to play in Turkey last season and is giving the NBA another try.

With 13 players with contracts for the 2014-2015 season and forward Brock Motum, this trio brings the Jazz training camp roster up to 17. Utah will undoubtedly invite the maximum number of players possible, seeing as it gives them a close look at individuals they like.

What are the chances for these three?

The Jazz will most likely be adding a third point guard and Bost will compete for that role (Ian Clark may also get a good look here). Of the threesome of free agents, he may have the best chance.

The swingmen and power forward spots are already seemingly stocked, so it may be even more of an uphill battle for Murphy and Cooley. If Murphy is to stick, it will be because of improvement from his last Jazz stint and his ability to make shots. With Clark and Carrick Felix already on the roster, this may be a challenge. With the front court depth, Cooley will be fighting with Brock Motum for a final roster spot.

With the Jazz uniting with the Idaho Stampede this offseason, any training camp cuts could find themselves with a roster spot in Boise. While the team traditionally keeps one vacant spot for flexibility’s sake, if they like players, it would not be surprising to see a full roster with 15 guys. Likewise, if any of the  invitees impresses, it is not beyond reason for the Jazz to cut someone with guaranteed money or make a trade as necessary.

As has been mentioned often, Utah’s front office does its homework on players and only invites players who they are intrigued with–players who might provide some healthy competition for a roster spot.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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Can Scott Machado Make the Roster? http://saltcityhoops.com/can-scott-machado-make-the-roster/ http://saltcityhoops.com/can-scott-machado-make-the-roster/#comments Thu, 26 Sep 2013 17:47:15 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=7770 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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There was not that much excitement surrounding the 2012 NBA Draft for Utah Jazz fans. At one point in the season, there was the possibility that the Jazz would have two first-round draft picks: their own and Golden State’s. But due to an interesting series of events, they ended up with neither. On the heels of a torrid finish, the Jazz nabbed the final Playoff berth and forfeited their pick to Minnesota (to finish up the Al Jefferson trade). And Golden State’s 5-22 record to end the season (including starting five rookies in the season finale) kept Utah from a valuable lottery pick.

As a result, Utah was left with just the 47th pick. While they had had some remarkable success with the same pick (Mo Williams in 2003 and Paul Millsap in 2006), there was not the same optimism last year. While not expecting a game-changer, some fans–yours truly included–were clamoring for Utah to opt for Iona point guard Scott Machado. The Jazz ended up drafting shooting guard Kevin Murphy, who saw very little playing time and was underwhelming when he got on the court. He’s, of course, been traded and will spend this year overseas.

Machado, on the other hand, will spend training camp with the Jazz this season. And some are interested to see how he fares. Can he make the roster? While the odds are against him, he will have the chance to stick.

Here are the facts: the Jazz have 13 on roster, including Ian Clark’s partially guaranteed deal. Traditionally, Utah has started the season with 13 or 14, leaving some flexibility should something crop up during the season. That means there may be room for one addition. Then again, given the homework Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey has put into things, if guys impress, they could start with the maximum.

What does Machado bring to the table?  For starters, he is a pass-first point guard, something that might be nice to have as an option off the bench. Beyond Trey Burke, the Jazz have a lot of guys who can play minutes there, but none who could be dubbed pure points. Machado let the NCAA in assists his senior campaign–9.9 apg. BYU fans also remember clearly how he led Iona in the first half of the first-round March Madness match-up. In fact, he was on track to breaking the tourney record for dimes in a game (18), as he registered nine with 5:30 left in the first half. He is a smart player who tries to understand and play to his teammates’ strengths. His AST% has been high in every setting, including his meager NBA minutes.

Machado’s shooting last season, when he split time in the NBA (Houston, Golden State) and the D-League, left a lot to be desired. He only shot 37.6 percent in the D-League and just 32.5 percent from three-point range. That said, he showed his senior year that he has some skills (50% FGs, 40% 3s, 81% FTs, contibuting to a 61% TS% and 56% eFG%). He’ll have to show he can consistently stick the jumper in camp and pre-season play.

While willing, Machado’s defense is pedestrian. He certainly has deficiencies, but perhaps his potentially elite skill of passing and play-making may outweigh those, especially as an end-of-the-bench guy.

Combo guard Jerel McNeal was waived Wednesday. He had worked out a good part of the season in Utah and played on the summer league team, so this was a surprise. He even made a Jazz appearance at a local high school football game last week. Perhaps it was McNeal’s camp who requested the move. Utah did turn around and invite point guard Brandon Fortenberry to camp. Either way, Machado has to be liking his odds should the Jazz want another point. 

Given that he was the first invite to training camp after an expansive group of workouts this summer, it looks like Jazz brass may like what they see in Machado. He could have a chance to earn a spot come October.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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JazzRank 14: Kevin Murphy http://saltcityhoops.com/jazzrank-14-kevin-murphy/ http://saltcityhoops.com/jazzrank-14-kevin-murphy/#comments Tue, 16 Oct 2012 19:03:54 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=5585 Author information
Evan Hall
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We understand if you all have a bad taste in your mouth after reading “JazzRank 15: Raja Bell.” Or, as it was entitled in the draft stages, “The Many Odious and Infamous Crimes of Utah’s First and Hopefully Only Rostered Non-Player.” Fortunately, coming in at number 14 is the heart-warming Kevin Murphy Experience.

Offseason Accomplishments: Under the scrutiny of almost any standard of judgment, Kevin Murphy’s greatest accomplishment this offseason was fathering a child. This is because the miracle of human birth trumps any and all achievements that could occur on a basketball court. Many thanks to Jody Genessy of the Deseret News for providing the Best Feel-Good Jazz-related Story of the Year.

While everything else Murphy accomplished this offseason pales in comparison to that, he still managed a number of other important triumphs. He was drafted 47th overall by the Jazz, becoming only the third player from Tennessee Tech to be drafted into the NBA since the draft moved to the two-round format. Also, this YouTube video of Murphy scoring 50 points (totally worth the 1:40 it takes to watch) surpassed 26,000 views. While Murphy’s summer league and preseason performances have been solid, if unspectacular, other than hitting five 3-pointers in the intra-squad scrimmage. The sample size has been small enough that any other quiet performance can be justifiably ignored. Finally, there was his radio fail, and if you listen to that without smiling affectionately, then you have no heart.

Patronus: Ring-tailed Lemur. Adorable, right?

Stat to Watch: Minutes played. Like with many late second-round draft picks, evaluating how Kevin Murphy performs at the NBA level will be difficult since he’s likely to play so few minutes. This is especially true in a system like Tyrone Corbin’s that values veteran presence. If Murphy can prove that he’s as offensively talented as advertised, he can begin carving out a Jeremy Evans-like slot on the roster.

Three Potential Outcomes for the season:

1. He gets cut, forcing him to temporarily find work elsewhere to support his burgeoning young family. This is depressing. Let’s move on.

2. Jeremy Evans 2.0: Not with the dunking, so much as becoming a perennial presence at the end of the Jazz’s bench, collecting his paycheck, and providing some instant and entertaining offense at the end of blow-out games or during stretches where the line-up is injury depleted. Not only does this seem like the most likely scenario for the season, but this is a win-win-win for everyone involved.

3. As already mentioned, if Murphy gets playing time, I think he has the skills to contribute offensively. If nothing else, Murphy can do what Raja did last year, only hopefully more efficiently: roll off screens for open jump shots, knock down catch-and-shoot threes when the defense collapses on the bigs, and avoid turnovers. Paul Millsap, the Jazz’s last 47th pick, ended up getting 18 minutes a game during his rookie season. Millsap earned time by pounding the glass with relentless tenacity. Murphy can do it by stretching the defense with his long-range shooting. So for the third, most shamelessly optimistic outcome, Murphy becomes Young Raja 2.0, sans the attitude and the established but slightly overrated perimeter defense. In case you justifiably can’t endure the comparison, let’s call him Suns-era Quentin Richardson.

Author information

Evan Hall
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